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Review: Mountain Rain, J.O. Fraser biography I was attracted to this book by reading a reference to this astonishing missionary by another missionary working in Sri Lanka, and then a guy on Facebook I respect said it was a life-changer for him. Read about one man against all odds penetrating into an alien culture and a devil-worshipping people, the Lisu, on the lofty mountains around Tibet. His prayer life, his obedience and sacrifice, his faith in the calling he received from God were awesome. He threw aside his prodigious talents to screw everything down to the single aim of reaching this people-group for Jesus. Dangerous reading!
Reviewed by Benjamin
The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane
ISBN 9781874367260 £6:99
The truth is that life is a battle; most of the time we're only too aware of that! I don't know why I haven't read this book before. I recommend it for its brevity, its clarity and its authority. I am stirred by its reasonable and unsensational treatment of the principalities and powers, and will read it through again. In a level yet devastating way, it reminds us of the war that faces us in our mind, in our church, and in the heavens. While the believer can claim and live in peace, too many of us live in fear and doubt, in failure and in apathy. Are you on the Lord's side? Arise, O sleeper and rise from the dead. Or, to put it in more modern parlance, wake up and smell the coffee!
(Reviewed by Benjamin)
'Irresistible Revolution, by Shane Claiborne.
ISBN 9780310266303 £7.99
For the past ten years or so Shane Claiborne has been following a calling from God to live among the poor, homeless and marginalised people of inner city Philadelphia. He and a group of college friends decided to sell everything they had and follow Jesus. They set up a community called The Simple Way and share a house in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of the city. Their mission is: To Love God. To Love people. To Follow Jesus." We're giving that our best shot". (Simple Way website)
This is an extraordinary book that challenges the reader to ask: Could I give up so much?
Is Jesus asking more of me than I thought?!
(Reviewed by Richard)
PRAY IN THE SPIRIT by Arthur Wallis
ISBN 9780875085746 £6:50
I had already read In the Day of Thy Power, God's Chosen Fast and The Radical Christian by this key leader of the house church movement. This book, however, is the shortest (nice quick chapters!), the most hard-hitting, and the most rewarding I've so far come across. Regarding prayer, Wallis observes "the fact is, as we well know, we always find time for what we want to do, and are only too busy for what we don't want to do and don't have to do." If you struggle with prayer, and feel convicted, then read this book to get a fresh wind. When it comes down to it, unless we are praying in the power of the Holy Spirit, we are wasting our time. What gripped me most, as with God's Chosen Fast, are the accounts of intercessors who saw amazing things happen in God, for example one who agonizing in prayer for someone could see his "soul spiraling down to a lost eternity, and.. the Holy Spirit. drawing the man back". This is not an advanced intercessor's guide - it starts where we all are. But if you're equal to the challenge, it might well move you on!
(Reviewed by Benjamin)
Jesus-Driven Ministry – Ajith Fernando
90,000 Hours: Managing the World of Work – Rodney Green
Revival Sent from God: What the Bible teachers for the church today – Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.
These books belong to a genre that I’ve just noticed, of books that take a significant practical and life topic, and do not shrink from a biblical study and exposition. In other words, when you read these books (maybe more so the second two), you are getting scripture all the way through, as well as personal insights and revelation.
I would have said the most urgent is the Ortlund book on revival, which I will read again. It is jam-packed with awesome statements and wonderful biblical exposition, of for example Isaiah 64, Psalm 126, Joel, Psalm 85, Hosea, and many others. His style reminds me of a slightly sanitised (but no less zealous) Leonard Ravenhill in Why Revival Tarries. A taster: “Some of our churches go through a whole year without seeing even one person solidly converted to Christ ... The breed of mild, harmless Christians grown in our generation is but a poor sample of what the grace of God can do when it operates in power in the human heart.” This guy is switched on to the inspirational power of revival, but also to the biblical basis for it and the entitlement of ourselves as believers to pray for it and tarry for it, and call it down. Make no mistake, God is in charge, but He longs to extend His kingdom through the blaze of our poor lives.
But those of you in work will love Rodney Green’s book, and it is no less prophetic and wise than the Ortlund. He looks at creativity, rest, harmony and perseverance, and encourages us to look again at Scripture and see how we should be paying attention to it and submitting to it in relation to our work. As believers, our work is part of our calling. Green argues that the Bible is “intensely practical in helping us to find ways of coping with the challenges and possibilities of working life in a broken world.” This book is not hard to read at all, but is a great way to reflect biblically and prayerfully on the role of work in your life, especially if you feel like you have come to crunch point.
Finally, a book which kick-started me into reading some astounding spiritual lives – Jesus-Driven Ministry, that takes a pretty comprehensive look at what it’s like to be a full-time Christian leader and how to keep going and to be fruitful. Fernando does not scant on the importance of being ‘saturated in the Word’, and on being empowered by the Spirit as well as prayer. He is very ready to share his faults and failings in his own broad experience, but also draws magnetically on our rich Christian heritage. I found it especially helpful being fairly new to leadership, to get several vital pointers and words of wisdom. For example, he talks about ministering to others and comments that sometimes we should find someone else to pray for an individual: “we must overcome our messiah complexes and accept the fact that others would do a better job than we can in helping these people.”
I know these books are important, because I am loath to let them off my shelf so that I can come back to them. We need more books like these, and more ministers more attentive to the prophetic at work in Scripture than to the sound of their own voices!
(Reviewed by Benjamin)
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